In Bucharest a cross-party parliamentary commission has voted against a bill which would have given the green light to Europe’s biggest open-cast gold mine to start working.
The vote against the project in Rosia Montana was unanimous. The commission recommended a new draft law for all mining in the area.
“We have the same message for the exploitation of shale gasses as well. But for both projects and future ones we need to have clear laws passed to sustain the projects,” Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta told reporters.
Analysts reckon working the mine, which is based in one of the largest gold deposits in Europe, could create up to 2,300 jobs in the future and boost Romania’s economy to the tune of billions of euros. Exploitation was expected to begin in November 2016.
Environmental issues surrounding the proposals have led to protests. Demonstrators claim 300 hectares would be covered with cyanide which is used in the extraction process of the gold. They allege the tourist industry in the picturesque Rosia Montana area would be hit as well.